Brian KeoghComment

Besseling leads as 11 Irish eye weekend

Brian KeoghComment
Besseling leads as 11 Irish eye weekend
 Wil Besseling. Picture: Golffile

 Wil Besseling. Picture: Golffile

Just 11 of the 31-strong Irish contingent look set to make the cut in the weather-delayed Tayto Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle Golf Club.

Holland’s Wil Besseling holds the clubhouse lead as delays carried through to the second day, adding a six under 65 to his opening 68 to lead on nine under par.

As a result of Thursday’s six-hour weather delay, Besseling was forced to complete his first round on Friday morning and then started his second round just 30 minutes after finishing his first.

“It was a long, exhausting day,” said Besseling. “I played 30 holes today. It was a long day, but I’m happy to be on top of the leaderboard for now.

“For my eagle, I hit my drive to five metres and then holed the putt. My putting was very good today and that helped me reach this score; I kept the ball in play and holed a few good putts.

“The course is very good, the greens are firming up now and it’s rolling nicely. The course is in great condition.

“We had to get up early this morning and finish the first round. Half an hour later we started the second. That’s the way it goes and everybody knows that’s the way it is.

“It’s nice to have played well and get to the top of the leaderboard, but the guys who are out there will make some birdies, so we’ll see what happens.”

New Zealander Ryan Fox (68) sits a shot back on eight under par alongside England’s Paul Maddy (67) and Ben Stow (12 holes).

Colm Moriarty (70-66), Gary Hurley (67-69) and Damien McGrane (65-71) are the best of Irish in joint eight on six under alongside tournament ambassador Michael Hoey, who has three holes of his second round to complete when play resumes at 8am on Saturday.

A total of 51 players must return early to finish round two and they include joint overnight leader Rory McNamara, who is tied for 30th with Chris Selfridge (15 holes) on three under with nine to play.

With the cut set to fall at one under, Simon Thornton (71), amateur Colm Campbell (68), Jonny Caldwell (71) and Cormac Sharvin (69) look safe with Kevin Phelan also one under with nine holes to go.

Thirteen year old amateur Tom McKibbin finished with a double bogey but stll added a a 75 to his opening 80 for a more than respectable 14 over total.

Tayto Northern Ireland Open in Association with Ulster Bank,  Galgorm Castle (Par 71)

Detailed scores

T8 MORIARTY, Colm 70 66 136
T8 HOEY, Michael 15 -3 68  68
T8 HURLEY, Gary 67 69 136
T8 MCGRANE, Damien 65 71 136
T30 MCNAMARA, Rory 9 +3 65 - 65 (-3)
T30 SELFRIDGE, Chris 15 -3 71  71
T54 THORNTON, Simon 70 71 141
T54 CAMPBELL JNR (AM), Colm 73 68 141
T54 CALDWELL, Jonathan  70 71 141
T54 PHELAN, Kevin 9/-3 73 - 73 (-1)
T54 SHARVIN, Cormac 72 69 141

——-Projected cut——- 141

T68 MCGEE, Ruaidhri 73 69 142
T68 DILLON, Joe 74 68 142
T68 MCELROY, Dermot 70 72 142
T83 O’BRIAIN, Neil 73 70 143
T83 CASEY, Brian 73 70 143
T98 SHAW, Gareth 74 70 144
T98 HUME (AM), Jack 73 71 144
T98 MOYNIHAN, Gavin 73 71 144
T107 CAREY, David 9 +3 71 - 71
T107 GALBRAITH (AM), JR 68 77 145
T117 WHITSON, Reeve 76 70 146
T117 MURRAY, Noel 75 71 146
T136  McGEADY, Michael 80 69 149
T136 FLETCHER (AM), Jami 9 Par 78  78
T139 HOPKINS, Jeff 76 74 150
T143 KEARNEY, Niall 73 78 151
T149 RAWLUK, David 80 76 156
T149 MCKIBBIN (AM), Tom 80 76 156
T149 DUNBAR, Alan 12 Par 85  85
153 BRIDGES, Richard 81 80 161